The infamous trial of the murder-accused South African Paralympic athlete, Oscar Pistorius, saw its final day in the North Gauteng High Court on Friday, 8 August 2014.
The day was composed mainly of the athlete’s defence team making their final statement before the trial will have been heard in full and be left to be decided by Judge Thokozile Masipa.
Defence lawyer, Barry Roux, criticized the witnesses called by the state, citing various alleged inconsistencies in the statements that they made. The statements made by one of Pistorius’s neighbours, Dr Johann Stipp, was focused on by Roux, who claimed Stipp was, “Desperate to help the state.” Roux stated that Stipp’s evidence was different from what the other witnesses had testified and that it was inconsistent. Stipp had stated, whilst in the witness box, that the screams that he had heard were desperate and emotional. However, when questioned by police, he had simply stated that he had heard screams. Roux explained that this did not correspond and that Dr Stipp was not a reliable witness. Roux said, “His evidence was inconsistent with the other witnesses.” Therefore, the court could not make use of the evidence.
Oscar Pistorius is currently facing trial for the murder of his girlfriend at the time, Reeva Steenkamp. Pistorius shot and killed Steenkamp through a bathroom door, claiming that he thought she was an intruder in their home in Pretoria and that he shot through the door for fear of being attacked. Steenkamp died immediately on the scene. The incident occurred on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2013.
If found guilty, Pistorius will most likely face life in prison. However, he may be handed down a lighter charge of culpable homocide, in which case he will have to serve fifteen years.
Judge Thokozile Masipa announced at 4 PM on Friday that the court is adjourned and that a verdict will be heard on September 11.